Whether you are considering becoming a home health aide or you are thinking about hiring a home health aide to help you care for a loved one, you need to know more about the job and the specific duties it entails. The following is a list of common duties performed by home health aides:
- Change bandages and clean sores or wounds.
- Run errands and help the client get groceries and other household supplies.
- Go with clients to doctors’ appointments and other appointments outside the home. You may be hired to provide transportation as well as give them personal assistance.
- Help patients with medication management, reminding them to take the right medications at the right time and at the prescribed dosages.
- Home health aides don’t always work with seniors. They are sometimes hired to work with disabled children and adults.
- Give treatments to patients including giving alcohol rubs or and applying topical medications.
- Help patients with mobility. This can include things like getting in and out of chairs, beds, tubs and showers and helping them into wheelchairs and cars.
- Help with common daily living tasks like eating, dressing, and bathing.
- Help with household duties such as laundering clothes, linens, and general housekeeping.
- Provide companionship by talking to clients, reading with clients, and helping them with games and other mentally stimulating tasks.
- Keep medical records regarding a client’s condition and overall progress.
- Record the client’s temperature, pulse, blood pressure, and respiration.
This is not a conclusive list of all the duties performed by home health aides. Each job usually requires some flexibility in order to give clients the specific care needed. A good home health aide possesses the following characteristics
Skills and Training: Home health aides should receive some training before working alone. This may come in the form of a mentorship or job shadow training program or from training at a technical or vocational school. Not all home health aides are skilled medical workers. If you need more advanced health care, it’s a good idea to find a licensed RN or LPN.
Interpersonal Skills: Home health aides need strong interpersonal skills to communicate with their clients. Not only do aides need to be able to get important information from their clients, but they need to be able to give clear and concise instructions when providing hands-on care.
Sensitivity: Home health aides do more than just meet the physical needs of their clients. They must also be emotionally perceptive, providing companionship and support for elderly patients.